1962 Koren Tanakh

The Koren Tanakh is a Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) published in Israel in 1962. It was produced by Koren Publishers in Jerusalem, which is an Israeli publisher of Jewish religious texts. Koren Publishers was founded by Eliyahu Koren, who also specially designed the Koren Hebrew Bible Type used by the Koren Tanakh.

The Koren Tanakh was the first Hebrew Bible designed, edited, typeset, printed and bound entirely by Jews in almost 500 years, because although the first printed Hebrew Bibles from Italy in 1488 were printed by Jews, following Daniel Bomberg’s 1517 Venice printing, all subsequent printed Hebrew Bibles were done either by academics or Christian converts from Judaism. Since the Koren Tanakh is produced by Jews who believe in the inspiration of Scripture, it remains free from the errors and biases of the ‘New Age’ approach to the Bible.

The Koren Tanakh is exceptionally well typeset, largely due to the beautiful Koren font used. In addition to a clear font which shows the nikud and cantillation marks perfectly, open and closed paragraph markers are laid out correctly, and the text also respects traditions such as special letters being marked differently. The text itself is based on an early 19th-century Bible edition of German-Jewish grammarian and masoretic scholar Wolf Heidenheim. The Torah was published in 1962 and the entire Hebrew Bible followed nearly two years later.

Published just a few short years before the Six Day War, the Koren Tanakh was a great success. It quickly gained wide acceptance among many different Jewish communities. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel accepted it for reading the Haftara in synagogues, giving it great importance and authority.

Koren Publishers went on to produce the Koren Siddur (Prayerbook), a Passover Haggadah, Five Megillot, as well as other important works for use by Jews worldwide.

The Koren Tanakh remains available, and can still be found throughout book-shops in Israel today.